Several years ago I changed roles in my organisation, which meant I had three new direct reports. I quickly discovered these people were dissatisfied in their roles and others were dissatisfied with their work.
This posed a problem as they were the heads of vital organisation-wide portfolios that were all going through big changes.
I set up monthly supervision sessions with them and sent calendar invitations, and to my surprise they did not know what I was intending. I discovered that they had not had a one-on-one with their previous manager for more than 2 years. No wonder they were disengaged from the rest of the organisation.
I asked myself, how could they know what was happening around them, how well were they doing in leading their departments and more importantly how well were they coping in their roles?
In the first meeting with each of them I introduced the Groupwork Centre model of Supervision, showed them the simple documentation that we would use together and arranged regular fortnightly or monthly sessions.
I made the time I spent with each of them a high priority. This showed them they were important people to me, that I cared about their work, how they were coping with the workload and other workplace issues.
All three were underperforming in their roles. They had either lost motivation, outgrown the role or the role had outgrown them. I didn’t see that they were to blame in any way, the onus was on the manager and on the organisation. How can people locate themselves or their performance without feedback, without supervision? In short they can’t.
After about 8 months we had established trust and a good, easy working relationship despite some tough conversations. What happened? Well two of these people left happily and with my support and went on to great roles in other organisations and the third recommitted to their current role and did an outstanding job!
All because on a regular basis we had discussions about performance expectations. We discussed what was going well, what was going not so well and who was going to do what over the ensuing period.
More information on Groupwork Centre’s Supervision and Performance Management training here.